I first became a mother 8 years ago. I gave birth to a beautiful set of twin girls. That year is one to remember because I gave birth to them prematurely at 31 weeks and they had to stay a month in the hospital to gain weight. I remember I did not have any issues raising both of them and working because I have my mom and sisters and sister-in-law who are always with us to help me take care of the girls while I am working.
Fast forward 2012, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Our life completely changed because he wasn’t the boy we expected he would be. He was special. And even more, he had conditions we needed to address so he’ll get to stay with us forever. It wasn’t easy but we managed to overcome the biggest hurdle in our family so far. We were successful. Our family is complete. At that moment, I thought the newest addition to our family won’t make that much of a change in our life. I was completely wrong. A new baby means a lot of hard work and even more, my baby needs special care. I have to regularly bring him to his doctors for follow ups and therapy sessions. I need to practically spend a whole day in the hospital every 1-3 weeks just to make sure everything is good with him. And this new routine has been added to my to do list. My job requires a lot of time and patience and if I don’t deliver, I won’t have income. Therefore, balancing time between work and family is never easy.
The other day, I was reading Elise Blaha Cripe’s blog about balancing work and motherhood. Every little bit of what she shared in that post was very helpful, especially the part where she explained about accepting the days that aren’t good and appreciating the days that are great. And while I find her sharing to be applicable for me too, I want to add a few things since I have a slightly different situation than her.
Here are the things that works for me in addition to all that Elise’s shared.
Set alarms for daily reminders
My boy has to take regular dose of Levothryroxin to maintain thyroid function. I have become forgetful recently so to make sure he regularly gets his vitamins and daily meds, I set alarm for specific hours in a day.
Review weekly schedule
So as not to be overwhelmed of what is about to come the following week, I have to regularly review what I have to deliver in 1-2 weeks time frame. This keeps me in track of what I have to do and how I will address my weekly deliverables in between taking care of the baby, sending/picking up the twins from school and helping them in their homework.
Identify and respect non-negotiable
With all the daily house work and design work I have to do, I have to make sure I give myself enough rest and sleep (though the sleep part is the most difficult to attain since I’m an insomniac). I value my work and family time but if I will drain myself mentally and physically, it will not be good for all of us.
Appreciate the good things
While not everything that happened to us this year was good, there are still a lot of things to be thankful for. I met new friends. I discover a wonderful community. I learned another side of life that I haven’t taken notice before.
One of the most valuable lesson in life that I have learned is that there are things I can and cannot control so I try not to sulk over the things I can’t do anything about and instead focus my time and energy on the things that will be more beneficial for my job and family.
I look forward to the coming year because I know it has a lot of potential and I can’t wait for more exciting things to unfold.